Saturday, February 27, 2010

Blades vs. Game Improvement Irons Article

Here's an article that Australian and PGA Tour player Bradley Hughes posted over at the Advanced Ballstriking Forum. Thought it would be interesting to share.

Click the articles to enlarge them:

I would say that the sample size is a bit small for this to be a legitimately valid study and some other flaws that may hurt the study (particularly trying different blade irons vs. different GI irons).

But I still think it's a good ballpark estimate of what happens. The thing that it shows me that is important:

1. Mis-hits with GI's will tend to go longer.
2. Mis-hits with blades will tend to go straighter and have a much tighter dispersion.

Lastly, there's a big risk reward with the GI irons. I think there's a chance that if you mis-hit a GI iron you can still wind up hitting the occasional exceptional shot. However, if you mis-hit a GI iron you also risk hitting the shot that is far worse than mis-hitting a blade iron.



siegler said...

"Click to enlarge" isn't working. The images are too small to read. Also, could you post a link to the forum post itself? Thanks.

Rich H. said...

They can be enlarged now. Thanks for telling me that, would not have known if you didn't tell me.

Here's a link to the original post:

Andrew said...

Interesting stuff. What would have helped though is if the article was specific on whether or not they tested each club to find its actual centre of gravity. The write up reads as if they simply assumed that in each case it would be found in the centre of the face.

The other issue with blade/GI comparisons is that (in my opinion) the differences are greatly exaggerated. Jorgenson in the Physics of Golf reckoned that any practical perimeter weighting design would have an increase in MOI, compared to a blade, of less than 50%. Jorgenson reckoned that the practical effect of such an increase would be insignificant. Looking now at the data published by Maltby, the difference in MOI between most blades and most Super or Ultra Game Improvement appears to be more like 25%. Compare this with drivers, where in the last 20 - 30 years, MOI has increased by a factor of around 3.

Rich H. said...

Brian Manzella mentioned at a TGM Summit that Stanford physicist Dr. Aaron Zick had a discussion showing why blades were better clubs to hit than cavity backs and other perimeter weighted clubs from a physics standpoint. Never heard exactly why that is, but I thought it was interesting to hear.

As far as the mental side of golf, I think Whole Brain Planet's Michael Lavery would agree with me that blades improve a golfer's motor skills. I'll have to ask him sometime and see what he says.